Honduras Will Finance the Purchase of Super Tucanos with the New Security Tax

By Dialogo
July 11, 2011

The Honduran government is expected to finance the purchase of its new Super Tucano planes, as well as other kinds of equipment for the fight against drug trafficking, through its security tax.

This was confirmed on a Honduran radio program in early July by the head of the Joint General Staff of the Honduran Armed Forces, Gen. René Osorio Canales, who indicated that the Central American country’s aerial hardware has not been renewed for approximately three decades.

The head of the Armed Forces affirmed that a “Technical Committee,” made up of members of the executive branch, the National Convergence Forum (Fonac), and representatives from the Honduran Private Enterprise Council (Cohep), as well as a representative of the Defense Ministry responsible for security, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, and the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ), will be in charge of administering the funds obtained.

Speaking to Radio HRN, Osorio Canales affirmed that the Army has a series of needs, such as the equipment required for the objective of responding positively to the population in the security and defense area.

Aside from the Brazilian-made aircraft, the extensive plan to renew the Honduran military’s equipment also includes ships and helicopters, among other items of military hardware.

According to General Osorio, a fleet of at least four Super Tucano planes is expected to be acquired for the fight against drug-trafficking activities, the same planes that countries such as the Dominican Republic already “have on order.”

“It’s necessary that we have that equipment, because for more than thirty years now, the Armed Forces haven’t had equipment, and everything has deteriorated now,” he noted.

He gave as another example the need to purchase at least one ten-foot coast guard launch that can maneuver and overtake speedboats, at a cost of between ten and twelve million dollars, while a “piranha,” another kind of boat, which is faster and has up to four motors, in addition to the necessary technological equipment, is much more expensive.

For Osorio Canales, it is also urgent to purchase bulletproof vests, infrared equipment for conducting operations at night, and uniforms, among other items, taking into consideration that “resources are minimal” and have been “optimized as much as possible.”